SMM8 7 / PRNewswire-Asianet / Patricio Vilaplana, BHP Billiton's vice president for corporate affairs, said, "We have asked the authorities for compulsory mediation because we want to reach an agreement and no one wants to go on strike all the time." The Government must now set a date for the commencement of mediation, after which the negotiations will be extended for a further five days. Workers voted against the company's final wage proposal last week and voted for a strike resolution, but Chilean law allows either side to ask the government to mediate for some time, in a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement before the strike. Despite growing tensions over the Escondida copper talks, copper prices fell on Monday as investors worried that a trade dispute between the United States and its trading partners would hurt global economic growth.
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